Etymology
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save (v.)

c. 1200, saven, "to deliver from some danger; rescue from peril, bring to safety," also "prevent the death of;" also "to deliver from sin or its consequences; admit to eternal life; gain salvation," from Old French sauver "keep (safe), protect, redeem," from Late Latin salvare "make safe, secure," from Latin salvus "safe" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept").

From c. 1300 as "reserve for future use, hold back, store up instead of spending;" hence "keep possession of" (late 14c.). As a quasi-preposition from c. 1300, "without prejudice or harm to," on model of French and Latin cognates.

To save face (1898) first was used among the British community in China and is said to be from Chinese; it has not been found in Chinese, but tiu lien "to lose face" does occur. To save appearances "do something to prevent exposure, embarrassment, etc." is by 1711; earlier save (the) appearances, a term in philosophy that goes back to ancient Greek in reference to a theory which explains the observed facts.

To not (do something) to save one's life is recorded from 1848. To save (one's) breath "cease talking or arguing in a lost cause" is from 1926.

save (n.)

in the sports sense of "act of preventing opponent from scoring," 1890, from save (v.). The verb save in a sporting sense of "prevent the opposing side from gaining (a run, goal, etc.)" is by 1816.

save (prep., conj.)

c. 1300, sauf, "except for" (with noun as object), "with the exception of, not including," from safe (adj.), which had save (adj.) as a variant form. The evolution parallels that of Old French sauf "safe," prepositional use of the adjective, in phrases such as saulve l'honneur "save (our) honor;" also a use in Latin (salva lege, etc.).

updated on January 08, 2022

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Definitions of save from WordNet
1
save (v.)
save from ruin, destruction, or harm;
Synonyms: salvage / salve / relieve
save (v.)
to keep up and reserve for personal or special use;
She saved the old family photographs in a drawer
Synonyms: preserve
save (v.)
bring into safety;
Synonyms: carry through / pull through / bring through
save (v.)
spend less; buy at a reduced price;
save (v.)
accumulate money for future use;
He saves half his salary
Synonyms: lay aside / save up
save (v.)
make unnecessary an expenditure or effort;
This will save you a lot of time
I'll save you the trouble
This will save money
Synonyms: make unnecessary
save (v.)
save from sins;
Synonyms: deliver / redeem
save (v.)
refrain from harming;
Synonyms: spare
save (v.)
spend sparingly, avoid the waste of;
This move will save money
Synonyms: economize / economise
save (v.)
retain rights to;
Synonyms: keep open / hold open / keep
save (v.)
record data on a computer;
Synonyms: write
2
save (n.)
(sports) the act of preventing the opposition from scoring;
the relief pitcher got credit for a save
the goalie made a brilliant save
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.